AT&T business plan:

Step 1: Engage in a dizzying flurry of splits, mergers, and acquisitions that are complicated enough to spin even Stephen Colbert's head around.

Step 2: Report your earnings around the same time that your new pet, Cingular, reports theirs (and leave out those pesky BellSouth numbers).

Step 3: Watch stock price jump.

Step 4: Goto Step 1.

....that's my guess, anyway.

Cingular Wireless LLC, the nation's largest cell phone provider, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit nearly quadrupled, boosted by customer growth during the holidays.

Cingular said it earned $782 million during the fourth quarter, compared with $204 million in the same quarter of 2005. The company reported revenue of $9.8 billion, up 10 percent from $8.8 billion in the year-ago period.

Read: The Herald Standard - Cingular 4th-quarter profit nearly quadruples on customer growth during the winter holidays